Friday, October 20, 2006

Chaplaincy- The beginnings Part I

I can't believe it's been a year since I've been working here. A year ago, I went looking all over for the Muslim chaplain @ the Hospital for Sick Kids, having seen his business card in the ISC Prayer Space, to ask him about Eid arrangements @ work. I had started working here on October 24th, and Eid was only a few days away.
After passing by Br Ayman's office several times, I finally managed to run into him, and little did I realise what I would get myself into by the end of that meeting. For some odd reason, br Ayman thought I was there to volunteer my time to help him, and having some sort of chronic inability to say no, I took up the position as the Muslim Chaplain Assistant. Pretty spiffy!
Any new project that hasn't existed before excites me, and this was definitely not only exciting, but rewarding. Over the course of the year, I pulled together an awesome committee Alhamdulillah, incidentally, all sisters only, and started many projects.
Br Ayman is a part-time employee, and paid by the hospital, unlike the other chaplains, who are supported by their respective communities. Because of his limited presence @ the hospital, it was often hard to get a lot done- Having an eager team of dedicated volunteers, and not enough work is quite dangerous :)
Plus, this summer, as usual, I had stretched myself, and balancing the Sick Kids Muslim Task Force was definitely a challenge I enjoyed, Alhamdulillah.
Br Ayman immediately entrusted me with visiting patients in his absence, in case there was an emergency. He often stressed the need for sisters to be around- The person affected most by a patient's sickness or surgery is often the mother, and it would be hard for him to reach out to women. This is where my role came in- And I never played this role without Sawitri. Our lack of experience in caregiving and chaplaincy would get overridden by our eagerness to just be there for the patient's families.
We would often tell br Ayman how, being engineers, we didn't quite have a lot of feelings. He would laugh. He's an engineer too, Alhamdulillah. He would tell us that we're steps ahead of others, that our being there showed that we cared, and it was enough, and that a task is done only for the sake of gaining reward from Allah (swt) alone.
When I had to visit patients in my most stressed out times, br Ayman would know just the right thing to say. '70,000 angels watch over you'. What an amazing reward, subhanallah!

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